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Heritage Auctions to sell one of the most important books in U.S history


One of the most important books in the history of the United States could fetch up to $100,000 when it crosses the auction block in Dallas next month.
The Heritage Auctions Rare Books sale will offer an original copy of The Federalist – a collection of political essays published in 1788, which played a vital role in the establishment of the U.S Constitution.

The book’s essays were primarily written by Founding Fathers James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, in an attempt to convince New Yorkers to ratify the newly proposed Constitution which they had both signed the previous year.

"An entire generation went by before Americans realized this book is the most authoritative interpretation of the Constitution as drafted by the Convention of 1787," said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage Auctions.

"This book is one our nation’s most important contributions to the theory of government, and this copy has rock solid provenance to one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs."

The copy offered at Heritage is one of just 500 first edition copies printed and sold in New York by J. and A. McLean, and was originally owned by Samuel Boyd, a prominent merchant who helped to establish the New York Post with Alexander Hamilton.

Offered in fine condition, and described as "among the most important political documents of the nascent United States", the book is expected to sell for upwards of $100,000.

Further notable and historic lots in the sale range from an original 1830 first edition printing of The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith, estimated at $70,000+; one of only 300 1923 first edition copies of Ernest Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems, estimated at $15,000+; and a first edition of The Lord of the Rings, including The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, valued at $20,000+.

The sale also includes rare works by the likes of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Cormac McCarthy and John Steinbeck.

The Heritage Auctions Rare Books Signature Auction takes place on September 15.


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